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Rice Pudding with green figs and remembering iconic brands……

Posted on May 22, 2013 by in desserts, rsg

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Rice Pudding was the first thing that jumped to mind when I looked out the window this morning, only to be greeted by a classic Cape Town winter morning.

Rice Pudding, even though our college hostel kitchen staff tried to ruin it with blotches of smooth apricot jam, always brought comfort and warmth, maybe it was just to me or because my mom was not around during the week. Nevertheless we all grew up with some kind of rice pudding, whether it was made with milk or cream or both, one thing is for sure, it is a classic winter dessert. Did my mom know about Arborio rice and stuff like that, heck no! We felt rich with tins of Nestle Ideal Milk and Nestle Condensed milk in our cupboard, just two of the iconic brands we’ve learned to know and love over the years.


Everybody has an icon or hero, …… we have just survived the Justin Bieber tsunami and for us old rockers, Bon Jovi brought new life to our nine to five existence. Middle aged people stood in queues remembering days when life was care free and wild. Burger King just landed in South Africa and everyone rushes off to sink their teeth into a giant Whoopie Burger. Icons and heroes come and go, what’s cool today is kitch tomorrow, but there are a few iconic brands that have stood the test of time and are still going strong. Brands like Nestle, Kelloggs (with milk, still my secret indulgence, my hug-in-abowl, my go-to treat when I need comfort. I am often asked in interviews what my favorite foods are and I giggle at the expressions I get when I tell people….Cornflakes, milk and sugar…. and remember to put the milk on first otherwise the sugar falls to the bottom of the bowl.


Every now and then a debate flares up on social media and the loves/hate relationships people have with Marmite are as ridiculous as the idea of eating Marmite on soft mieliepap or adding a sweet/salty touch to a sponge cake with melted butter and Marmite.

Other iconic brands that to me as a cook/baker have been around forever are brand like Moir’s, and Safari. My mom’s fruit cakes and biscuits were all baked with these age-old brands and still today I trust them to give me fuss-free and flop-free baking every time.

Cake baking competitions were always interesting with 2 definite camps…… a Snowflake camp on the one side and a Sasko camp on the other. The one group of bakers says the flour must be “too fresh to flop” while the others just say: “share the goodness” To this day still consumers and mommies stay true to their favorite brands.

I wonder how many suitcase that go through customs at “Departures” are loaded with Peck’s Anchovette, Mrs Ball’s Chutney, All Gold Tomato Sauce to mention but a few.! Why? The answer is simple, these iconic brands brought a sense of belonging, a sense of family and togetherness and a sense of wholesome goodness. I hope these brands are still here for many years to come, because my sons needs to know the joys of drinking condensed milk straight from the can and I still need to teach Chloe the finer art of making a toasted sandwich with cheese and Marmite…….

Another iconic brand that has been with us for many, many years is Spekko Rice.  Spekko Rice comes in 6 variants, to cater for all cuisines possible.


Spekko only sells the best rices they can find – and sources these from the most reputable growers in world.
•Spekko rice variants are not mixed with broken or inferior grains and each has a purity and definable taste.
•3 Variants – Parboiled Long Grain; Spekko India Gate Classic Basmati Rice and Spekko Saman Brown Rice are officially classified as Low GI by the GI Foundation and approved by Diabetes SA.
•All variants are endorsed by the South African Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The rice pudding I am sharing with you today is made with  normal parboiled Spekko Rice, because I want to prove a point by using every day store-cupboard ingredients. So here goes:

Rice Pudding with Green Figs

serve 4-6


250 ml Spekko Parboiled Rice

1 x   380 g Nestle Ideal Milk

3 tins milk –  ( I use the Ideal milk tin )

½  of a 385 g Nestle Condensed milk

1 stick cinnamon

30 ml Nestle Dessert Cream

3 ml salt

4 – 6  preserved figs – halved


Place the rice, salt, cinnamon stick, Ideal milk and fresh milk in a pot and on a very low heat boil the rice until it thickens. Do not leave the pot or hurry the process, it will burn quickly. Stir the rice until it has thickened and the rice is soft, but still has a slight bite to it. This takes about 20-25 minutes. Add the condensed milk and the dessert cream and stir through. Serve with a sliced preserved fig and some of the syrup.

The alternative is to put the ingredients in a big glass bowl and microwave for 10-12 minutes. Stir every 2 minutes. If the rice is still too watery or hard, boil for another 5 minutes. Once the rice is thick and soft, follow the same steps as for the stove top method.

You can also use the jasmine rice for a more exotic taste.


 Tomorrow morning just after the 9 o’clock news, I will be  back in my seat at RSG studios, making rice pudding and chatting about our iconic brands.. Get ready to be amazed! I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!

Good Food & Wine Show

This weekend I will be cooking at the Woolworths Real Food Theatre, the Philips stand as well as the Searle Trading store to do Tafelpraatjies. Please book here and come and join in the cooking fun! Check out the programme here and book here!

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4 Responses to “Rice Pudding with green figs and remembering iconic brands……”

  1. Audrey thom 23 May 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Dit lyk en klink baie lekker! Dankie!

  2. Zirkie 23 May 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Ai, Nina, dit lyk darem al te heerlik!

  3. Kobie 24 May 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Dit is werklik ‘n heerlike “poeding” vir winter. Dankie

  4. Dot Schaal 27 May 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    Looks yummy, but I would substitute the sugar loaded condensed milk with an alternative sweetener such as agave nectar. Figs added must be sensational! Thanks for sharing.

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